WASHINGTON – If the government were to shut down because of a failure to find an agreement on the future of Obamacare, it will entirely the president’s fault, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday.
Paul trotted out the newest line of attack from conservatives in Congress, arguing that because Republicans have moved off their initial demand of full Obamacare repeal and are now asking for a one-year delay of the law’s implementation, Democrats should compromise as well.
“But see, he is saying 100 percent of Obamacare or the highway,” Paul said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.” “The president is the one saying I will shut down government if you don’t give me everything I want on Obamacare. That to me is the president being intransigent and being unwilling to compromise.”
At that point, host Bob Schieffer reminded Paul that Obamacare had “already been passed” — implying that the time for arguing over whether it should be law had passed as well.
Pressed later in the program how the two sides could actually resolve this impasse, Paul suggested that House and Senate leadership put together a conference committee to hash out their differences.
“I think there is a way,” Paul said with respect to a resolution. “And I have been saying all along that we should negotiate. See, historically Bob. the way it worked is if the House is Republican and passed something and the Senate was Democrat and passed something you had a conference committee, equal number of Republicans and Democrats, and you hashed out your differences. Why don’t we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one today, they could meet tomorrow and hash out the differences. That is the way it is supposed to work. Republicans and Democrats are supposed to find a middle ground but right now, it is the president saying my way or the highway, if I don’t get everything I want, if I don’t get Obamacare — which Democrats passed without any Republican support — the Democrats are saying they are willing to shut down the government.”
Calls for a conference committee to resolve the debate over a continuing resolution are more than a bit odd, as Senate Republicans held up attempts to have the two parties meet in such a conference committee during budget negotiations this spring and summer.